I have a faeces fascination. Say that 3 times fast.

I don’t know why.

It’s a gift I guess.

So many wonderful memories….

Don’t panic. I’ll show some restraint… but not much.

So, let me tell you about the time I saw diarrhoea flying across the street.

I was strolling along a busy street in Kolkata one hot, and humid day. I was chatting (possibly/probably nagging) away to Paul. As I looked across to speak to Paul, I happened to time my head movement perfectly to see a woman rushing towards the bushes/dead plants on the side of the road not even 2 metres away from me. She was lifting her sari, but didn’t quite make it. She shared the contents of her bowel with the street.

Why? Because Poverty is shit.

Poverty means she doesn’t have a public toilet to visit or basin to cleanse her hands (that doesn’t require any tap turning, I mean, I’m not a savage).

She has no privacy, no dignity, no choice. She doesn’t even get to choose where she takes a dump.

That my friends, is poverty. Say it with me “poverty is shit”.

Do you know what I love?

I love when we sit in our sanitised sanctums on our arrogant wiped clean arses and spew out this vile justification for our lives… “the poor are happy”.

Sorry Mum… arrogant bottoms.

I partly hate it so much because I fell foul to its alluring safety. The belief that yeah, that kid has made a toy out of a piece of old wire and a discarded tomato can, but he is so happy, so content.

I can learn so much from him, because although he has nothing, he is so happy.

WHAT THE? So I decide to envy his serenity? I covet his brief moment of happiness before he possibly dies of an ear infection because his Mum can’t afford antibiotics? Can I really look at him and think, what take away can I have from this to make my life better?

Lord forgive me.

All together now “poverty is shit”.

Bec, you are being a bit gross. No one wants to hear stories about women pooing in the street.

No. We don’t.

But I’m pretty damn sure that woman doesn’t want to be pooing in the street a whole lot more than we don’t want to be reading about it. And if we can’t even abide having that image briefly cast before our eyes, then we have no chance of seeing ourselves.

Because poverty is shit.

And unless we can look poverty in the eyes, see the degradation and loss and pain that poverty causes, if we insist on taming it down, on turning it into palatable pieces, then we will never become the instruments of justice and mercy that God wants us to be.

So next time you’re in the dunny relieving yourself, and in fact from now on, every time you defecate, I want you to think of me. Think of me and say with me “poverty is shit”.

And as we chant our loo time mantra, perhaps we will grow an army of shitting believers who will ask the question.

“What does God want me to do about it?